Close watch on stray dogs

Stray dog population in Sibu rises because many were abandoned in the streets by their owners. — filepic

SIBU: Sibu Municipal Council’s (SMC) operations against stray dogs has been ongoing for many years, said its Public Health, Environment and Municipal Services chairman Rhoda Ting.

“SMC has been catching between 30 and 50 stray dogs monthly. Those not claimed by their owners are put to sleep,” she told StarMetro when asked about the council’s measures to control rabies-infected dogs from spreading the virus.

This follows the death of six-year-old Monica Mazlan and her four-year-old brother Jackson Mazlan recently after having contracted rabies virus last month.

She said SMC’s dog catchers were taking extra precautionary measures.

“Our dog catchers wear special gear to prevent them from being bitten by stray dogs,” she said.

Ting said there were still a large number of stray dogs in the town.

“We have to continue catching them despite shortage of staff,” she said.

She pointed out that the stray dog population rose because many were abandoned in the streets by their owners.

She explained that stray dogs caught went sent to the council’s dog pound in Jalan Teng Chin Hua so that owners could claim them.

“If they are not claimed, we will have to put them to sleep,” she added.

Meanwhile Sibu Rural District Council (SRDC) will be launching an operation to cull stray dogs in its jurisdiction.

Chairman Sempurai Petrus Ngelai urged dog owners to keep a close eye on their pets to prevent them from contracting rabies virus.

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